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Transcendental Meditation: What It Is And How It Works

Posted by Adam Vasica on

Transcendental Meditation: What It Is And How It Works

Transcendental Meditation: What It Is And How It Works

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The secrets of the brain and how it communicates with our emotions and the rest of the world around us are infinite. Understanding the depth of the human condition is a powerful and incredible journey of self-realization, self-love, and self-exploration.  Nothing will have a more lasting impact on your overall internal well being than coming to the realization that being in touch with your inner self is as powerful and centering as any other part of life.  

Let’s discuss transcendental meditation, its effects, and how it really works as a way to give you lasting inner peace.

What Is Transcendental Meditation

To fully understand what the transcendental meditation movement is, you first have to trace its definition back to the transcendental movement of the nineteenth century.  The movement itself originated in literature in North America, centered around Ralph Waldo Emerson.  Other transcendentalists were Henry David Thoreau, Bronson Alcott, Theodore Parker, and many others.  The movement regularly criticized society for its brainwashed conformity and urged people to look within, to find an original relation to the universe.  

Emerson and Thoreau encouraged people to chase after this connection while in solitude and while exploring nature, preferring to find a connection to the truth and beauty of the world while communing with the natural world itself. While transcendentalism itself rose to popularity as a liberal literary worldview, it quickly became much more than that as people began to believe more and more in the process of discovering internal connection not from contemporary society but instead from a deep relationship between the internal and the divine inherent in nature.  

Transcendental meditation was born out of this movement, and it embodies stability, creativity, and peace.  It goes deeper than simple mindfulness meditation to provide a technique that fits in with modern, mainstream wellness programs.  It involves only a few minutes on a daily routine that occurs once or twice a day and allows individuals to connect to a mantra, a “meaningless vibration word” that is pre-selected to sink into a meditative state. This mantra may be in Sanskrit, or it may be in another language. 

Specifically, the technique was created by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in the 1950s in India and is derived from types of meditation like the ancient Hindu Vedic tradition. That said, you don't have to practice Hinduism to practice this form of meditation. While you can train with a certified TM teacher or join a TM organization, you can also practice it on your own. Famous practitioners include the Beatles, Jerry Seinfeld, and Ellen Degeneres. 

The main draw for transcendental meditation is that attaining that meditative state is incredibly simple given that it can be entered with little to no pretense, and you can enter meditation only after a very short amount of time.  In addition, the practice works very well in any environment, including the workplace.  Because of that, it’s incredibly popular among individuals in intense, demanding business environments.  

Benefits Of Transcendental Meditation

Even when the transcendental meditation technique does not grant its user a deep meditative state, it does allow for 40 minutes of unbroken downtime a day in 20-minute intervals. However, when it does work at its most effective, it provides several benefits to TM practitioners, besides improving your overall quality of life. Let’s break down the benefits of meditation quickly before we discuss exactly how to practice transcendental meditation for yourself.

  • Provides new perspective: TM practice can provide users with a deeper understanding of the life around them.  Because transcendental meditation seeks to achieve a higher level of connection to the natural world around us, it grants its user a newer perspective on what’s going on, especially when it comes to stressful situations and circumstances beyond the user’s control. 
  • Reducing negative emotions: Again, due to transcendental meditation’s connection to the natural world, the user is able to connect the mental, physical, emotional, and metaphysical in ways that are completely impossible otherwise.  As a result, a deeper emotional understanding of the world can be reached, reducing negative emotions and providing calm and collection. It can lead to an overall improvement in your mental health.
  • Increasing patience: Achieving a higher level of patience with the TM technique is possible as well.  Connecting with the inner self gives individuals greater control over the situations and people they are equipped to handle.  Thus, patience is bolstered, and tolerance for more difficult and frustrating circumstances and events is attained.
  • Reduction of stress: Finally, as shown by research studies, transcendental meditation practice seeks to provide meditators with peace and understanding that the life of the immediate pales in comparison with the life of the natural and indefinite.  Going back to the originality of the transcendental movement in the nineteenth century, the connection between the natural world and the spiritual world is bridged to provide peace, reduce stress, and even reduce physical symptoms like high blood pressure.  
  • Some even claim that transcendental meditation can have a positive impact on ADHD, heart disease, and hypertension. While scientific studies with control groups are still being conducted on this, it looks promising. 

How To Practice Transcendental Meditation

The process of putting transcendental meditation into practice is actually incredibly simple, which is one of the reasons it is so incredibly popular, especially among professionals.  Let’s break it down into a few simple steps.

  1. Find a comfortable, quiet place to sit.  This allows you to remove any unnecessary distraction from the world around you to connect more easily with the meditative state.  Keep your posture straight and keep your eyes closed.
  2. Begin with 30 seconds of deep quiet, easing into the mantra you have chosen or been given beforehand.  This gives your mind something to focus on and centers you in a silent, vibrative state, making it easier to slip into meditation.
  3. Repeat the mantra in your head, focusing on the word itself rather than the rhythm of your words.  Focusing on the word or mantra rather than the rhythm will remove focus from the physical world and allow you to access the inner.
  4. Then, without focusing on your breathing and its rhythm and speed, let the mantra draw your attention while allowing your physical thoughts to fly by without paying them heed. 
  5. At this point, you will access the transcendence you’ve been seeking, experiencing moments of pleasant and restful alertness.  
  6. You will exist in this state for 20 minutes, experiencing several moments of deep and incredible meditation, allowing you to rest your mind, generate alertness, reduce stress, and increase your patience.  
  7. To exit the meditative state after 20 minutes, take three mantra-free minutes to come back down from your meditation.  After doing so, open your eyes to return fully back to the real world.  
  8. Repeat this process twice a day, at the beginning of your day and again before the end, in order to create a routine that allows you to achieve that same meditative state easier and connect more deeply with that side of your consciousness. When you're getting into it, it may be hard to stay on track with your practice, so remember that each consecutive day that you practice is a major win. 

Why Transcendental Meditation?

What is it about transcendental meditation that separates it from regular meditation? Why should you choose transcendental meditation rather than just traditional forms of meditation?

The first reason that makes transcendental meditation special is that it requires no special effort, no deep training, and can be done in just a few minutes in the middle of your busy day. 

Secondly, the transcendental meditation program doesn’t require deep levels of mental control or contemplation.  With traditional meditation, acquiring these techniques can take years of practice.  With transcendental meditation, none of that is relevant or required. 

Final Thoughts

Selecting transcendental meditation for yourself is a very easy process that will have a profoundly positive impact on the rest of your life.  The value of deeply connecting with yourself cannot be overstated, and transcendental meditation is a very easy way to achieve that successfully.  

Once you begin to practice it regularly, it will come naturally and more regularly, and you will find yourself able to slip into that transcending meditative state more easily.  Over time, it will allow you to find yourself in deeper and previously unimaginable ways, and you’ll be able to better handle every situation life throws at you.  

 

Sources:

  1. https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/transcendentalism/ 
  2. https://www.businessinsider.com/wall-street-trend-transcendental-meditation-2016-10 
  3. https://www.webmd.com/balance/guide/transcendental-meditation-benefits-technique 

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